CHARLES KIEFFER, originally from the United States, is trying to make his classes interesting and useful to the students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Shenzhen, in Longgang District.

Having been in the city for nine years, Kieffer is now the senior lecturer in the English program at the School of Humanities and Science. To be a fun and inspiring teacher, he uses psychology during his classes.

“I try to weave it (psychology) into regular assignments so that there can be deeper personal growth,” said Kieffer.

In a speech training activity, he asked students to deliver speeches on topics related to themselves. He said students can grow as people by doing this.

“Chinese are into academics at the expense of other parts of their lives,” said Kieffer.

He said his assignments also nurture students’ awareness of the world, including knowledge about global warming.

“Keep them involved and keep them active. Give them a lot of power by not being scared in front of people,” he said.

Kieffer made students join in a debate or engage in a mock interview.

He also has his students role-play as characters from popular TV shows like “Friends.”

“[Hopefully] in their memories, as time goes by, I’m closer to one of the teachers that was exciting… who helped them to grow transformationally and bond with each other, instead of the boring teacher that put them to sleep,” said Kieffer.

Kieffer received a bachelor degree in Psychology and a master degree in School Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He earned Education Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Alliant International University.

He teaches comprehensive English, listening, speaking, reading, writing, and will soon teach psychology at CUHK.

On Sunday, US President Donald Trump tweeted, “President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”

As everyone knows by now, last month the US Department of Commerce levied a 7-year ban on American exports to ZTE, a move that has caused many of the company’s businesses to collapse, creating chaos for both countries and the world. The punishment came after the US accused the Chinese company of providing false information.

The reasons behind punishing ZTE have aroused suspicion from the international community as many feel it was a card dealt by the US in the recent trade scuffle.

Regardless of the reasons for the ZTE sanctions, the recent tweet from President Trump is welcoming. A significant number of US-made components can be found in ZTE products including chips, and it would be too difficult to find a quick alternative source. ZTE, a company with 80,000 employees, could avoid suspending business operations if Trump’s decision is executed quickly.

It is worth pointing out that restoring ZTE supplies not only benefits the Chinese company, but also US suppliers as it restores vendor reputation.

ZTE’s legal battle with the US has dragged on for too long. The company’s chances of winning an appeal against the US Department of Justice (DOJ) or Department of Commerce are slim. However, it does not make sense to issue a death sentence over a dispute regarding the bonuses of a dozen employees.

ZTE has been major purchaser of US upstream semiconductor equipment and components. Sanctioning the company means US-related companies can expect significant damages and profit loss. The Washington measure will have profound consequences in disturbing a sense of security among their foreign partners.

The case with ZTE functions as a message to the outside world as international companies now run the risk of being punished by the US over tiny disputes, without being given a chance to defend themselves.

If the sanctions against ZTE are a deliberate act warning China of a Sino-US trade war, some foreign companies might be worried about their safety in the US. For them, working with US companies has been redefined as they could become a scapegoat whenever a large conflict emerges between them.

Implementing the sanctions against ZTE will inevitably deal a heavy blow to the development of the global industrial marketplace. There is practically no other company the size of ZTE that relies on US-made parts, and US companies have benefited from this globalized supply chain.

One important factor that has caused the underdevelopment of China’s chip industry is its reliance on US supplies. The “death sentence” has shaken Chinese society so much that it has been forced to make the painful realization that China must develop its semiconductor industry. It is without uncertainty that the US ban will serve as the motivation behind China’s advancement within this sector.

President Trump’s decision couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Many Chinese saw ZTE’s ordeal as the result of evil wrongdoing carried out by the US as was the speculation among international businesses. This latest development offers a new angle for analyzing US intentions.

Whether ensconced with trade disputes or conflicts among other companies, it is sincerely hoped for that major issues can be resolved fairly without having to utilize extreme measures. As the largest economy in the world, the US needs to contribute to its stability.

Economic and trade partners should not have to feel a deep sense of unease when working with the US. We expect President Trump to follow through with his Twitter announcement quickly, and it shouldn’t be just another card in the game. The situation with ZTE is about credibility and nothing more.

The understanding of the current situation and China’s national conditions has always been a fundamental issue. How to prevent those understandings deviating from reality and leading to serious political consequences is sometimes a major challenge. Nowadays the focus is on analyses and judgment of whether China has the ability to withstand a comprehensive US trade war.

It’s not easy to accurately assess the gap between the strength of China and the US and the international political implications of that gap. When strategic tension arises in China-US relations, two tendencies easily prevail: One is overconfidence. The other is fear.

In a speech in April last year, Hu Angang, a professor at Tsinghua University, said China’s economic, technological and comprehensive national strength has already surpassed that of the US. By 2016, they were respectively 1.15 times, 1.31 times and 1.36 times that of the US. The speech provoked a stir on the internet and provoked fierce criticism and ridicule, dealing a heavy blow to Hu’s reputation. The incident showed there is no room for overconfidence about the strength of China. Chinese society is vigilant against such arrogance.

Some hold that the US trade war against China and other containment actions are caused by China’s high-profile propaganda of its achievements. Such a view is too simplistic. However, it reflects Chinese society’s opposition to any self-overestimation.

On the opposite side, worries about the China-US gap and promulgation of a sense of crisis, no matter how exaggerated, have been tolerated by public opinion. Varied warnings and alarms have gained popularity on the internet.

Faced with the US and the West, the lack of confidence in Chinese society’s ideological trend is a more common phenomenon. Influenced by the Western values in China, such a trend is always regarded as political correctness by the media, making it hard to lead public opinion when specific events happen. Those claiming that Beijing is bound to lose in a trade war firmly believe that they are on the rational side.

Over-confidence often meets opposition in China. However, there seems to be no limit on lack of confidence.

Under the current circumstances, Beijing has no will to initiate a trade war with Washington, but is forced to fight back strategically. Chinese society has various opinions on the reason why the trade war started, and all these opinions are worth summarizing. However, it needs the solidarity and confidence of all of society to confront US pressure, and fear of the US won’t help.

Worshipping the West has a rich history in China, especially among opinion leaders. Thus, it can sway the whole of society on important occasions. Fear of the US will linger in China for a long time, and it will only be cured by China’s rise.

Influential intellectuals should size up the situation. While being vigilant against Chinese society’s arrogance, they should help the country rid itself of the fear of the US and encourage Chinese people to fight US hegemony. The latter should take priority when the US is maximizing pressure on China.

Opening up is a must for China, and the struggle against US hegemony during the process is also unavoidable. Patriots should never hinder Chinese society from together opposing hegemony.

Which of the major powers poses a bigger threat: the US, Russia or China? This seems to be a contentious world issue. The finding of the Pew Research Center’s Spring 2018 Global Attitudes Survey shows that more people worry about the threat posed by the US use of power and influence.

Noticeably, 49 percent of respondents in France and Germany saw the US as a threat. Many US allies, according to the US intelligence community’s annual Worldwide Threat Assessment report, are “seeking greater independence from Washington in response to their perceptions of changing US policies on security and trade.”

Coincidentally, a study carried out by German research organization Civey and the not-for-profit group Atlantik-Brücke (Atlantic Bridge) shows that Germans have an increasingly negative view of US-German relations, with many seeing China as a more reliable partner.

At a time when the US feels China will surpass and challenge its supremacy, Washington turns its back on the very order that it established after World War II with the aim of holding onto its own dominance.

But the order the US is destroying is the order everybody lives in, including Europe. The continent, with its declining global influence, is trying to figure out if it should engage in a more wide-ranging strategic cooperation with China or fall into the US Cold War orbit.

The relationship between China and the US is in no way the same as that between the US and the Soviet Union which had little economic interaction but much military confrontation. By the same token, China-Europe relations do not feature the antagonism of Eastern and Western blocs during the Cold War era.

Yet some in Europe are still fanning the flames. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute in London, UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson outlined plans to send Britain’s new aircraft carrier to disputed waters in the Pacific in a message to Beijing. Concerning China and Russia, he said, “Russia is resurgent – rebuilding its military arsenal to bring the independent countries of the former Soviet Union like Georgia and Ukraine back into its orbit. All the while China is developing its modern capability and commercial power.”

Ironically, Downing Street distanced itself right away from the defense chief’s comments, with Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman saying relations with China are “strong and constructive.”

As a December editorial of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy pointed out, Europe and the US converge on concerns toward China but differ profoundly on the approach. The US treats China as a rival, but Europe does not necessarily need to do so. If Europe follows the US Cold War approach, it will only undermine its own position in international politics, squeeze its room for maneuver and ultimately risk its own interests.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Friday expressed China’s support for the international community, including the US, to play a constructive role in improving India-Pakistan relations. China made the statement after US President Donald Trump’s offer on July 22 to mediate between India and Pakistan on the decades-long Kashmir conflict.

In addition, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also welcomed Trump’s offer, saying that it was “more than Pakistan’s expectations.” However, India has always been opposing third-party mediation. New Delhi insists that the conflict can only be resolved through direct talks with Islamabad. India should understand this: The international community is offering to mediate because India has made few attempts and achievements on the Kashmir conflict, and peace in Kashmir is important to global stability.

The US is not the first country to offer to mediate. Former South African president Nelson Mandela and incumbent Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg used to offer third-party mediation. But India has shut out all countries’ offers, which has escalated tensions in Kashmir.

Perhaps India should try to understand why the international community generally supports improving India-Pakistan relations through peaceful negotiations. That’s because during the more than 70 years of disputes, the two countries have always lacked an effective channel of negotiation. Clashes have erupted along the Line of Control, which had cost many innocent people’s lives.

Under such circumstances, China has always supported international mediation because the peace and stability of South Asia is of great importance. If the India-Pakistan disputes lead to war or even a nuclear confrontation, then the two peoples will become innocent victims. China’s national strategy and interests will be seriously harmed as well. For example, the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative will face severe challenges in South Asia if the region suffers from war. China supports all countries, including the US, that sincerely aim at promoting peaceful negotiations between India and Pakistan, because this is also in line with China’s own interests.

China will always respect India’s choice whether to accept international mediation or not. However, India should not deliberately ignore the international community’s attention and will. India is a major country in the region. And if India and Pakistan can resolve the Kashmir conflict properly and peacefully, India’s national image will be greatly enhanced, and its long-term stability and development will also benefit.

The over 70 years of disputes between India and Pakistan was something left by British colonization. How India and Pakistan resolve the issue can help developing countries find a peaceful way to completely get rid of colonialism.

India should work harder to break the deadlock. Since Pakistan and India are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the SCO can provide a good platform for a regional solution. The most important thing is India and Pakistan’s will and wisdom to seek a resolution to the conflict through political negotiations. Only in this way can South Asia’s peace and stability, as well as the interests of countries concerned, be guaranteed. New Delhi should not act against the will of international community.

Grace Meng, the wife of former vice minister of public security Meng Hongwei, said Monday that France has granted her asylum request, according to a report from the Associated Press (AP). Grace Meng, also known as Gao Ge, said France’s asylum had saved her and her two son’s lives.

Meng Hongwei was indicted on Friday. According to the official indictment, Meng used his job to gain benefits and accepted huge bribes.

Granting Meng’s wife an asylum request will not change the fact that Meng is accused of taking bribes. Meng used to be a senior official and his acts were under the supervision of China’s National Supervisory Commission. Because of suspected violations of laws, Meng was investigated. This is absolutely justified.

Meng has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and dismissed from public office over serious violations of CPC discipline and laws, according to a statement issued March 27 by CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission. The statement said Meng used his influence to “secure a job for his wife and let her take advantage of her post to seek private benefits.” Such an official conclusion should have already made the whole case clear.

But Grace Meng claims there are so-called “political reasons” in her husband’s case. She said that her husband was a victim of political persecution and her lawyer argued that she would be in danger if she returned to China, AP reported.

Grace Meng’s act seems clever – labeling the investigation “political persecution” may help her win political asylum. But this also shows that France and some Western countries harbor a prejudice and have serious misunderstandings of China’s politics.

What her husband did would be legitimately investigated in any Western country. Western countries use their so-called politics to cover Meng’s violations of the law, which only shows that Western laws are unfair.

In 2018, China adopted the Supervision Law which was expected to be a guiding law for anti-corruption. The investigation of Meng shows the effectiveness of China’s legal system as well as the country’s tenacious resolution in cracking down on corruption.

We understand that France granted Grace Meng’s asylum request on the basis of the country’s own law. But in the case of bribery, France’s law should accord with China law. Some Western media deliberately used words like “disappeared” to describe China’s investigation. This is mere provocation against China’s law.

Meng is also former president of Interpol, but just like France’s asylum, it cannot make him escape his investigation. Anybody who violates China’s law will be punished and there should be no exception. The purpose of China’s anti-corruption campaign is to build a clean and fair society for Chinese people and other countries should end their illusions about interfering in it.

The US will probably release a specific list of tariffs on Chinese products based on the Section 301 investigation as early as Tuesday local time, involving more than 1,000 products. Making the list seriously violates WTO rules and the reciprocity principle. The US is taking another step down the wrong path.

As far as the Global Times knows, China has nearly completed its list of retaliatory tariffs on US products and will release it soon. The list will involve major Chinese imports from the US. This will deal a heavy blow to Washington that aggressively wields the stick of trade war and will make the US pay a price for its radical trade policy toward China.

Beijing and Washington recently had some discussions on trade disputes. The US made some unreasonable demands in an attempt to coerce China into a compromise. This was na?ve. With strong trading power, China held its ground. We have weathered bluster before from previous US administrations. Today China has more means than ever to counter US measures, but the US hasn’t shown any new tools. Washington should show sincerity if it wants to talk. Intimidation won’t work.

Compared to China’s list, the US list hurts itself more than China. The tougher the move, the stronger the impact on Washington. This logic will be proven by the US government’s own actions. Restricting imports from China will cause a price hike in the US. Cheap products of a high quality made in China have benefited ordinary Americans, who will have to turn to more expensive alternatives. China’s countermeasures will hit US exports, dampen employment and hurt the US economy.

There are deep-seated reasons for a trade imbalance between China and the US. It is the result of a global labor division and cannot be changed in one American government. It’s a delusion for Washington to request that China cut the trade surplus by $100 billion. It’s frantic thinking worthy of total disdain.

The US will be derided in history for using outdated tools to address the issues of the world’s largest two-way trade. China’s extensive retaliation will add to Washington’s chaos. The US administration thinks it’s creating history, but unfortunately it will become a laughingstock.

China will also suffer losses from the trade war, but is able to handle the problems thereby caused. The Chinese public understands well that the government is trying to minimize the impact of the trade war and will firmly support government steps under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. Social unity will supply strong backing for the country’s countermeasures.

Since reform and opening-up, the Chinese people have maintained a broader horizon and more calmness. They take the Party and government as the backbone and act in a rational manner.

The US tariff list can bring serious consequences, but strategically it is just a pebble on the road of China’s rise. With technological progress and a developing domestic market, China boasts great economic and trade potential. Dealing with a trade war waged by the US will help China grow.

Liu Xia, widow of late Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, left China on Tuesday on a flight reportedly heading for Germany. After Liu Xiaobo passed away last year, Western media called for her release claiming that Liu Xia has been under house arrest. But this is not reality.

Liu Xia indeed has been within sight of Chinese authorities over the past year, but definitely not under house arrest. She lives normally in a community in Beijing and is free to meet family and friends, go shopping and play badminton in the training court.

Liu Xia has also had unblocked communication. Those who have her phone number can call freely and the German Embassy in Beijing has called her quite often. Liao Yiwu, a Chinese dissident writer living in Germany, released an audio recording of his call with Liu Xia months ago, in which she seemed to be in a bad mood. But this showed that she wasn’t in isolation from the outside.

Chinese authorities have never said “no” to Liu Xia’s going abroad. Her departure on Tuesday proved that she is able to choose to leave. It’s hoped that the outside world understands China’s official attitude from the outcome.

Some Western media outlets have hyped Liu Xia’s departure, but this doesn’t matter much. Since Liu Xiaobo remains a topic that garners attention, Western media will try anything to hype it, but the attraction they can provide is undoubtedly decreasing.

China has relatively tighter social governance than Western countries. It is a political subject for China to figure out how to effectively manage, yet show tolerance for the dissidents in this country.

What’s difficult is to protect their rights, and at the same time, prevent them from exerting too much negative influence on Chinese society. In the internet era, this work meets challenges from all sides, including too much interference of Western forces.

Recently dissidents have been somewhat limited in making their voices heard on public platforms, but they enjoy ample personal freedom under most circumstances. This differs completely from what life was like before the reform and opening up. Today, China doesn’t want dissidents to hamper national development, but it never means to persecute them. Yet when Western media report on dissidents in China, some dissidents also like to make a show of it.

As the widow of the most widely known dissident in China, Liu Xia appears to have no interest in being a typical dissident herself. Certain Western forces must exercise restraint and stop taking advantage of her.

The West focuses ardently on dissidents and uses human rights as a geopolitical card, rather than truly caring for China’s endeavor to promote human rights.

This bias only invites aversion among Chinese people whenever the human rights issue is raised. The West really needs some self-reflection.
Newspaper headline: Properly managing dissidents a challenge

China on Tuesday unveiled a cabinet reshuffle plan, which kicks off reform of the Communist Party of China and State institutions. The shake-up will cut eight ministerial-level entities and seven vice-ministerial-level ones at the State Council. The State Council will eventually be comprised of 26 ministries and commissions in addition to the General Office.

The extensive reshuffle will also include reform of the Party, government and military organizations. More actions are expected.

Institutional reform is a knotty issue that the rulers wouldn’t want to touch unless they wanted real action. Such reforms are rarely heard of in the world.

China has made such shake-ups more frequently and profoundly than any other country since reform and opening-up. This first of all shows that the Party and government have the courage to touch on problems. Continuous reform has happened over the decades as China has enjoyed faster economic growth than other powers and dramatic changes in its society and internal structure. Institutional reform has helped the country handle challenges, solve systematic problems in the government and enhance governance efficiency.

The restructuring has shown an unprecedented scale, scope, depth and coordination as in the new era there are major changes to China’s internal and external environment, missions and tasks. This demonstrates the ambition of the Party and government to achieve the two centenary goals put forward at the 19th CPC National Congress.

The reshuffle will significantly improve organization of State institutions as the new ones respond to much-discussed issues of the day. For instance, the combination of banking and insurance regulatory commissions facilitates better coordination. As veterans attract more attention, the Ministry of Veterans Affairs has been set up.

Despite the growing workload of the Party and government as China develops, people hope the number of institutions can be reduced. Institutional reform should respond to what people care about most: fewer but more committed officials. In this sense, the latest restructuring has complied with public opinion.

The reshuffle has more significance. Above all, its most important aim is to strengthen Party leadership. China has become the second largest economy in the world and is deeply engaged in globalization. Its governance system and capability must catch up with modernization and meanwhile maintain Chinese characteristics. Party leadership must be upheld to make China’s modernization stable and sustainable and avoid getting lost.

The reshuffle must serve the interests of the Chinese people, not any agency or group. The shake-up of overlapping or marginalized institutions may touch upon some vested interests. Sometimes to avoid such troubles, reforms can be muddled.

This happens in other countries more or less. To address these issues depends on a powerful political authority. China has advanced reform because the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core has the authority required.

Institutional restructuring has given a brand new look to the Party and government. This marks China’s march on a new journey in a new era and is a solemn commitment of the Party and government to serve the people.

Newspaper headline: Govt reshuffle responds to public demand

The New York Times declared in an article Tuesday that Facebook gave some of the world’s technology giants “more intrusive access to users’ personal data” for years. In turn, Facebook used contact lists from the partners, including China’s Huawei, it said. The article also said that Huawei “has been flagged as a security threat by American intelligence officials.”

This is one of Washington’s continuous acts trying to force Huawei out, which indicates fiercer China-US high-tech competition. Whoever can invest more and attract more qualified scientists and technicians will outrun the other. Talent, which can be attracted by high wages and an open environment, is the crucial factor behind the US edge in high technology.

But it seems the US hasn’t been performing well. According to a report of the University of California at Santa Cruz, nine in 10 workers in Silicon Valley make less now than they did in 1997 after adjusting for inflation. Without incentives, there is undoubtedly no motivation for technological innovation. The future of the US high-tech industry is in doubt.

In 2017, Huawei surpassed Ericsson to become the largest telecommunications equipment company worldwide. Now the US is forcing Huawei out of the game and its political intention is to force US enterprises to “decouple” from Huawei. High-tech decoupling is part of Washington’s broad strategy to contain China’s development and prevent its global dominance from being challenged. From Meng Wanzhou’s arrest to the alleged sharing of personal data with Facebook, Washington is now comprehensively stifling Beijing’s rise up the global industrial chain.

An article in the New York Times titled “Can the U.S. Stop China From Controlling the Next Internet Age?” exposed the US intention of suppressing China’s 5G development: “The (US) government has a lot to be concerned about. As critical 5G… roll out over the world, many are being deployed by Huawei.”

“And the idea of China… dominating that age is troubling,” it said.

But the idea of technology decoupling is na?ve in the globalization era. Is China’s high technology as vulnerable as the US wants to believe? Washington’s acts precisely show that after 40 years of reform and opening-up, China’s technology is reaching global competitiveness.

Talent is the foundation of a country’s competitiveness in innovation. While Silicon Valley’s incentives are lackluster, China must increase its investment in high technology and roll out more policies to lure qualified personnel. If China uses its domestic capital and technology effectively, it can create a more open environment to attract worldwide talent. We believe the talented will see the rising potential of Chinese technology.

In the long run, by deepening reform and opening-up and attracting talent, China can compete and counter this attempted decoupling. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday delivered a speech at a gathering celebrating the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up, emphasizing that China will carry the policy through to the end. As capital, talent and technology flow worldwide, China’s technological exchanges with other countries are reciprocal. Stifling Huawei, Washington will only get itself stuck in the mud.